NodeJS - reading and processing a delimiter separated file (csv) image

NodeJS – reading and processing a delimiter separated file (csv)

Frequently, there is a need to read data from a file, process it and route it onwards. In my case, the objective was to produce messages on a Kafka Topic. However, regardless of the objective, the basic steps of reading the file and processing its contents are required often. In this article I show the very basic steps with Node.js and and the Node module csv-parse.

1. npm init process-csv

Enter a small number of details in the command line dialog. Shown in blue:


2. npm install csv-parse -save

This will install Node module csv-parse. This module provides processing of delimiter separated files.


This also extends the generated file package.json with a reference to csv-parse:


3. Implement file processFile.js

The logic to read records from a csv file and do something (write to console) with each record is very straightforward. In this example, I will read data from the file countries2.csv, a file with records for all countries in the world (courtesy of


The fields are semi colon separated, the records are each on a new line.


This program reads and parses all lines from csv files countries2.csv into an array (countriesArray) of arrays; each nested array represents a country.
The initial file read is synchronous. The country records are kept in memory.

var fs = require('fs');
var parse = require('csv-parse');

var inputFile='countries2.csv';
console.log("Processing Countries file");

var parser = parse({delimiter: ';'}, function (err, data) {
    // when all countries are available,then process them
    // note: array element at index 0 contains the row of headers that we should skip
    data.forEach(function(line) {
      // create country object out of parsed fields
      var country = { "name" : line[0]
                    , "code" : line[1]
                    , "continent" : line[2]
                    , "population" : line[4]
                    , "size" : line[5]

// read the inputFile, feed the contents to the parser


4. Run file with node procoessFile.js:


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